With the signage of Stolen Valor Act of 2013 it became a federal crime to adorn oneself with fraudulent representations about receipt of military decorations or medals. Specifically stated in the Act: “Whoever, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds oneself out to be a recipient of a decoration or medal … shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both” The signage of this Act is considered by U.S. military veterans a victory, as it protects the legacy of every individual that ever earned his or her uniform and fought against an enemy in protection of America. Yet, based on the lack of enforcement and prosecution of those identified individuals whom engage in violating this act, it would appear that Congress has passed a law that they have no intent on enforcing.
As evidence of this lack of enforcement of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, I submit our first subject that has allegedly adorned himself in a U.S. Army Officer dress uniform stacked with ribbons and medals including, but not limited to the Purple Heart, Combat Action, Special Forces designation, and an entire host of various other awards. Only one problem, He never served a single day in the United States armed forces.
His name is Gregory C. Banks and what makes matters worse in this alleged case is that he identifies himself as a clinical psychologist with offices in Danbury and Farmington who counsels, among others, those suffering from post-traumatic-stress disorder, including military veterans and police officers.
A full write-up on this alleged imposter is available here: http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Danbury-counselor-exposed-as-military-faker-5222809.php This story gained traction through national media outlets when it broke on Feb 10th, 2014 on CT, WFSB News. Full story linked here: http://www.wfsb.com/story/24682584/man-accused-of-posing-as-decorated-special-forces-solider
Prior to this story breaking, inquires by the whistleblower to local law enforcement were met with jurisdictional obstructions. Since this is a federal crime, it must be investigated and handled by a federal agency such as the FBI or the Department of Defense. Since those agencies are inundated by leads on crimes of higher priority (to national security) this alleged impostor roams free and serves as a mental health professional.
Following the media coverage and realization that an arrest or fine was highly improbable, other organizations reached out to the federal government to inquire how to go about establishing precedent, enforcing the law, and deterring others from committing these types of egregious violations of federal law which dishonor the very men and women that serve, protect and defend our nation.
What we’ve learned is nothing new. In order for Congress to act, the people must speak out, call and write their congressional leaders and demand enforcement of this act while also demanding that State and local governments create laws that forbid the same.
We Want You – to help us protect the honor and integrity of our Armed Force Veterans. Please take a minute to contact your congressman and demand enforcement of this federal law. You can locate your elected officials using this link: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml